EDITORIAL – ‘Rolling Thunder’ just another pointless protest with no message

(Image: Facebook)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THERE WAS A TIME when rallies and protests meant something. They had a purpose, a message. Apparently, these days, it’s entirely optional.

Sure, some, like the dozens of May Day rallies around the world on Sunday, are legitimate. People took to the streets to express their displeasure with the working conditions, with certain politicians, and called for an end to the invasion of Ukraine. There was a purpose to them.

Even  the traffic blockades by anti-old growth protesters at the Coast  have an actual goal. We may not agree with their methods but there’s a goal.

Then there’s the so-called Rolling Thunder rally in Ottawa this past weekend. Compared to the truckers’ “Freedom Convoy” earlier in the year, it was, fortunately, relatively uneventful, but can anyone tell me what it was about?

There were various snippets of messages but nothing coherent. I saw one interview in which a guy said authorities “desecrated” the national war memorial by putting fences up around it, and Rolling Thunder was there to reclaim it.

Wait, what? The fencing was put up after a participant in the Freedom Convoy disrespected the memorial by dancing on it but it’s since been removed.

Without elaboration, others said the rally was in support of veterans. Another participant decided he was there in opposition to having to take COVID precautions on airplanes. After all, he said, Canada is a “free country.”

Ah, yes, “freedom.” Indeed, there were Mel Gibson-style shouts of “Freedom!” from the crowd at Parliament Hill on the weekend.

Freedom? Freedom from what, exactly? Most of the COVID mandates have been removed so there’s not much to rally about on that score. As far as air travel goes, I’d like to have freedom from virus-spreading fellow passengers.

“Freedom” is such a good word. The Rolling Thunder crowd exercised their freedom to protest but, otherwise, this was a pointless rally about nothing in particular.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9641 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on EDITORIAL – ‘Rolling Thunder’ just another pointless protest with no message

  1. Arleen Simmonds // May 2, 2022 at 4:00 PM // Reply

    To quote the Bard they were “full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. ” they got what they wanted, to see themselves on national TV.

  2. Jim Irwin // May 2, 2022 at 11:55 AM // Reply

    Everyone has their own point of view. Mine is that this “editorial” has as much of a message as you attribute to the Rolling Thunder gathering.

  3. They don’t appreciate what they’ve got which is way more than they deserve…

  4. Sean McGuinness // May 2, 2022 at 7:55 AM // Reply

    Well at least they were “rolling” and not “stalling”. I guess they see themselves as liberators, but then again so do the Russians.

  5. Ian MacKenzie // May 2, 2022 at 7:03 AM // Reply


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